19 March 2018
Healthcare organizations are working hard to reduce controlled substance diversion. Drug security expert Kim New weighs in with critical tips for proactively getting a handle on the issue.
Prescription painkillers are fueling the U.S. opioid crisis. In response, many agencies—such as The Joint Commission—have increased emphasis on wastage under standard MM.03.01.01 to hold healthcare organizations more accountable for how they order, administer and dispose of controlled substances. The goal is to restrict when and how much of these drugs are prescribed, but also prevent opportunities for drug diversion—when staff or patients steal the drugs for recreational use.
There are numerous risks associated with drug diversion for organizations, the individuals taking the drugs and those around them. For example, if a nurse takes an opioid and then treats a patient while impaired, the patient can be harmed. If the nurse gets into a car after his or her shift and drives while under the influence, he or she could hurt him or herself as well as others in the community.
According to Kimberly New, JD BSN RN, founder of Diversion Specialists and an expert on controlled substance security, there are a few key strategies organizations should implement to dramatically reduce theft.
Hospitals and health systems are not alone in facing diversion issues—non-acute care facilities are also experiencing this problem first-hand and must have processes in place. Whether you are a hospital or a non-acute facility, Stericycle can help in designing and implementing a comprehensive diversion program. For more information call 855-602-6279.
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